In Summary
  • The governor was accused breaching the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005 and Regulations 2013, the Public Finance and Management Act and the Constitution.
  • The committee ruled that the big issue was on who was responsible for the mess; the governor as the County Assembly had decided or other officers in the county.
  • Dr Khalwale said witnesses that the governor brought to testify on his behalf turned against him, and instead gave evidence to implicate the Mr Wambora more. Even the auditor general confirmed the accusations.

The Special Senate Committee confirmed three out of the five charges against Embu governor Martin Wambora.

The 11-member committee found the Embu governor guilty of violating public procurement laws but senators absolved him of accusations of abuse of office. (READ: Embu governor impeached over abuse of scarce county resources)

The governor was accused breaching the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005 and Regulations 2013, the Public Finance and Management Act and the Constitution.

On violation of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005 and Regulations 2013, 39 senators voted yes for impeachment, with one vote against and one abstention; on violation of the Public Finance and Management Act, 39 voted yes, with one vote against and one abstention while on violation of the Constitution, 39 voted yes, with one vote against and one abstention.

Baringo senator Gideon Moi voted against all three charges while Embu senator Lenny Kivuti abstained on all three.

It was the first time in the history of the country that Parliament, specifically the Senate considered a matter touching on impeachment of a public officer.

The charges on abuse of office and violation of the County Governments Act 2012 could not be substantiated by the team chaired by Senator Boni Khalwale.

Moving debate on the report, Dr Khalwale put up a strong argument for the impeachment of the governor, urging the Senate to assert its authority as the guardian of devolution and for posterity purposes.

“We must get rid of non-performing officers,” he stated.

His sentiments were echoed by his deputy Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Senator James Orengo who emphasised that the Senate must crack the whip, arguing that the Embu county government was a clear case of a dysfunctional devolved system.

The team also noted that the governor must be held responsible for failing to take action.

The committee ruled that the big issue was on who was responsible for the mess; the governor as the County Assembly had decided or other officers in the county.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

It, however, said that while primary liability for violations of the procurement laws may lie with individual officers, the Constitution stipulates that a governor will be held liable for violations that occur during their watch.

This includes instances when the governor does not take action.

The 49-page report concludes that though the governor is supposed to be the chief executive of a region, Mr Wambora was a mere bystander and observer in the procurement debacles that rocked his county.

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